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This Hour: Latest West Virginia news, sports, business and entertainment

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Suspect in 1974 W.Va. slayings won't be prosecuted

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - A suspect in the 1974 slayings of three people in Fairmont won't be prosecuted.

Marion County prosecutor Pat Wilson tells media outlets that he plans to ask the circuit court to dismiss first-degree murder and conspiracy charges against Phillip Reese Bush.

The decision follows a recent West Virginia Supreme Court ruling that reinstated two unrelated first-degree murder convictions against Bush. Wilson says Bush is serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole for those convictions.

Wilson also says dismissing the charges in the 1974 case will save the county tens of thousands of dollars in prosecution costs.

Bush and Eddie Jack Washington were charged with killing 20-year-old Lester Phillips, 19-year-old Wanda Jane Phillips and 27-year-old Billy Ray Cobb. Washington entered Alford pleas to conspiracy charges last year.


Fairmont man sentenced on fraud-related charges

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A Fairmont man convicted on fraud-related charges will spend up to 30 years in prison.

Gregory Spiker of Fairmont pleaded guilty in April to two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses and one fraudulent schemes count. The Dominion Post reports that Spiker was sentenced last week in Monongalia County Circuit Court to one to 10 years in prison on each count.

Spiker was accused of taking money from customers to do upholstery work in 2013, and then missing deadlines and refusing to give refunds.


Board: Planning info needed in W.Va. spill probe

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Regulators ordered a water company under investigation for its chemical spill response to produce emergency plans and information potentially protected by anti-terrorism laws.

The state Public Service Commission ordered West Virginia American Water on Friday to produce many documents it opposed releasing.

The PSC says some information potentially shielded by state and federal laws can be considered. It will be confidential from the public.

Advocates for a Safe Water System said Friday it was pleased with the ruling. The group is intervening in the investigation, alongside businesses affected by the spill and the PSC's Consumer Advocate Division.

The water company has said those documents were beyond the investigation's scope and are being sought in civil lawsuits.

Freedom Industries' January spill contaminated the company's water supply for 300,000 people for days.


W.Va. to study fish life in river after chemical spill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The state will survey fish life in the Elk River after a massive chemical spill polluted the waterway in January.

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Fish Health Laboratory in Leetown will aid the state Division of Natural Resources in the project next week.

The Freedom Industries spill contaminated the drinking water supply for 300,000 people for days.

The state Division of Natural Resources says no fish kills were observed after the spill. The survey will look at possible health impacts on fish from the disaster.

The division will perform a similar fish study on the Kanawha River. That survey is part of a statewide fish health assessment project with the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service's Northeast Fishery Center in Lamar, Pennsylvania.


Man hit, killed by train in southern W.Va.

RODERFIELD, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia State Police say a man was killed when he was struck by a Norfolk Southern train on a bridge in McDowell County.

Trooper J.R. Coburn in Welch says a 20-year-old male died at the scene and a 24-year-old female who fell 60 feet was in critical condition at Welch Community Hospital. A 29-year-old male who jumped from the tracks suffered less serious injuries.

Coburn says the three were walking on the tracks Thursday night near Roderfield.

State police on Friday said the man who died was Kenneth Neace of the Roderfield area.


Founder of closed W.Va. boarding school charged

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A prosecutor says the founder of a closed boarding school in Harrison County has been arrested following an investigation into the alleged abuse of students.

Harrison County Prosecutor Joseph Shaffer says Susan Gayle Clark of Pennsboro was charged Friday with child neglect resulting in injury, failing to report incidents and obstructing a law enforcement officer during an investigation.

Criminal complaints say Clark was aware of three incidents at Miracle Meadows School in Salem since November in which teacher Timothy Arrington allegedly choked and handcuffed a male student, left another in handcuffs overnight, and locked a third in a room and forced him to strip to his underwear.

Arrington was charged Friday with three counts of child abuse creating risk of serious injury. He was arraigned last week on another charge.

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